WINTER WALKABOUT IN WELLINGTON

The picturesque Boland town of Wellington with its beautiful historic buildings, gracious hospitality and an array of tourism attractions is an inviting destination for a crisp winter’s day.

Pop in at the visitors’ information centre next to the majestic Dutch Reformed church at the top of Main Road for recommendations. A good starting point to familiarise yourself with the town, would be the Wellington Heritage Trails’ free downloadable audio tour. This self-guided heritage tour will give you a glimpse into the colourful history of the town featuring wagon makers, wine pioneers and female educators, who all played an integral role in the town’s history. An experienced virtual tour guide provides entertaining commentary on the historic attractions and cultural diversity that makes the town and its people come to life. The voice guide is available free of charge in Afrikaans, English and German.

 

The aptly named Perfect Place is indeed worthy of a visit for a sweet indulgence or country-style lunch. Visitors can also grab a take-away coffee and further explore the quaint town.

The Wellington wine route is one of the country’s youngest wine districts and boasts one major producer-cellar, family-owned wine estates and a sprinkling of boutique wineries and spirits producers. The compact wine route covers extraordinary diverse terrain, stretching from the Berg River to the Swartland wheat fields and into the foothills of the Hawequa Mountains. If you are keen to explore some of the off the beaten track wine farms, the historic Mont du Toit Kelder should definitely be on your list. Tastings are by appointment only.

Twenty six hectares of vines have been planted with red varietals  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Alicante Bouschet, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot and Tinta Barocca. Wine production at Mont du Toit is focused on the more traditional ‘low tech’ approach. The entire Mont du Toit philosophy relies on growing the right grapes, keeping yields down, doing green harvesting and meticulously selecting only fully ripe fruit by hand during harvest time. Mont du Toit subscribes to the Integrated Production of Wine programme. This sets standards for eco-friendly practices in the vineyards and on the farm.

A visit to Wellington would not complete without experience the exceptional dining offering at the Oude Wellington. This quirky restaurant is located inside a Cape Dutch style barn dating back to 1795 at the base of the Bainskloof Pass. It offers the perfect setting for a cosy lunch featuring Dutch and Indonesian inspired dishes prepared by John Tecklenburg. Enjoy daily changing specials, soups and deserts prepared by Susanna Tecklenburg. The hands on couple will ensure an unforgettable experience.  Seating is available in the shade of the enormous oak trees or inside the distilling cellar with big barrels and cosy fireplaces. The working brandy distillery produces pot still brandy and grappa every year.

For the finest high quality leather products at a reasonable price, you have to add Redemption Fine Hand Crafted Leather on the Altebly family estate to your list. The owners and their knowledgeable staff are happy to offer advice and assist visitors.  The wide selection of leather products includes shoes, sandals, belts, bags, wallets, key-rings, hats and whips. Every piece is crafted with love, care and for durability.

 

Wrap up your visit with a gin tasting on the porch of the historic 1812 Cape Dutch manor house on Versailles Farm, which has been the home of the Jorgensen’s Distillery since 1994.  The distillery adopted an 1860’s copper pot still, later nicknamed Ugly Betty, which was used by pioneer and master distiller Rodger Jorgensen to masterfully formulate recipes harnessing indigenous flavours.  His significant influence on the craft distilling industry of South Africa always involved sharing knowledge, new recipes and skills with distillers throughout the industry.  The Roos family took ownership of the distillery in 2018 and master distiller Quinn Roos adds his own distinctive and unique style to the current Jorgensen’s Distillery line-up with his Wild Rose craft range.  This premium, small batch distilled range honours the kaleidoscope of African botanicals and includes a fynbos, hibiscus, pepper and blue pea gin.  Tastings by appointment only.

Visit the Wellington website at www.wellington.co.za and follow their various social media platforms at of @Visit Wellington ZA for the latest news and updates.